Work Experience Education (WEE) is a program that combines classroom instruction with part-time student employment. Work Experience and Exploratory Experience follow California Department of Education guidelines and cover the following curriculum: career exploration, job/work cycle, labor law, economic awareness/financial literacy, and soft skills. Students develop good work habits, attitudes, self-confidence, job skills, and a portfolio.
Students can enroll in either Work Experience (paid employment) or Exploratory Experience (unpaid internship/ observation) and can attend class at either high school. The purpose of Exploratory Experience is to contribute to students’ career guidance by affording them opportunities to explore careers of interest by systematically sampling—under school supervision and with school credit—a variety of work conditions.
The Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Solar and Astrophysics Center has been collaborating for four decades with our district to provide a Science Work Experience Program in a research environment. Please visit our PAUSD Work Experience page for details on how to apply to this program.
Work Permit Applications
Students who would like to work and are not yet 18 years of age need a work permit. These permits are processed at the school site during the school year and at the Greendell site during the summer. Please visit our PAUSD Work Permits page for additional details on how to apply for a work permit.
JOB FAIRS AND CAREER SPEAKER SERIES EVENTS
Palo Alto USD holds several events during the year that provides students with opportunities to connect with industry leaders.
Palo Alto USD hosts two job fairs each year: one in the Fall and one in the Spring on both campuses (Palo Alto High and Gunn High). The employers at these events provide information and access to students interested in employment. We seek to provide opportunities from a diverse representation across varied industry sectors. Past participants include Amazon, City of Palo Alto, Great America, MindStrong Health, and more. This level of community engagement provides our students with opportunities to gain real-world experiences, foster connections that go beyond the classroom experience, and gain skills that prepare them for future careers. For more information, visit our Job Fair Information page.
Career Speaker Series
Palo Alto USD hosts a Career Speaker Series at each of the high school campuses during the Spring. The purpose of the series is to expose students to various career opportunities within our community. We want students to learn not only about career options, but we also want students to develop resiliency and the sharing of narratives is a powerful tool. Learn more about our Career Speaker Series here.
WORK EXPERIENCE BULLETIN BOARD
You can find current job opportunities available to high school students by area organizations that have contacted our Work Experience Education Program on our Bulletin Board. Palo Alto Unified School District in no way endorses any of these organizations but simply makes the information available to our student body. Students and their parents must do their own due diligence on any organization that they contact. Students must also obtain a work permit from the Work Experience Education Program for any paying job that they obtain if they are under age 18. Finally, students are strongly encouraged to enroll in a Work Experience Education class if they have an unpaid and/or paid job.